The Window on Malawi
The Medical Aid Society of Malawi (Masm), a member-owned health insurance scheme, said on Friday good economic management in the country contributed to the growth of its membership from 81,000 to 92,000 last year.
Masm deputy board member Wilson Chirwa told the 24th Annual General Meeting of the Society held in Mzuzu on Friday that growth in membership positively affected Masm as, for example, member contributions rose from K876 million to K1.3 billion, representing a 14 percent growth.
Chirwa, a consulting engineer by profession and is retiring after failing to secure re-election into the board, also told the meeting that due to a good operating environment and increased marketing efforts Masm managed to retain its members as well as woo new ones.
He also said member claims totalled K970 million compared to K740 million in 2006 which represents a 31 percent increase.
"Government remained committed to fiscal discipline which together with post harvest drop in food prices and other factors culminated in the reduction of the inflation rate from 9.6 percent at the beginning of the year and 7.5 percent at the year end of the year," said Chirwa.
In his presentation, auditor Shiraz Yusuf from Ernst and Young said apart from sound government economic policies Masm’s good tidings were also a result of transparency and efficiency by Masm management.
For his part, Masm chief executive officer Sydney Chikoti said the increased income contributions from the grown membership will enable Masm buy additional emergency ambulances to enhance good service delivery to member patients.
During the meeting, Masm members also voted into the board a new firm member, Harvey Nyasulu, a farmer and director of Phwezi Foundation for Education in Rumphi.
Nyasulu beat Chirwa by 18 -9 votes.
Chikoti challenged Nyasulu to work out strategies that would increase Masm membership in the Northern Region.
Before starting the day’s proceedings delegates paid tribute to the late Masm board chairman Paul Gundumulani who died in a road accident in Blantyre on May 17 this year.